Program of Study in Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Intellectual property is one of the fastest-growing legal specialties in the United States, and increasingly in the world. Notre Dame Law School’s Program of Study in Intellectual Property and Technology Law prepares students to practice in a wide variety of intellectual property-related fields. Our faculty teach basic and advanced courses in the core doctrines of intellectual property — patent, copyright, trademark and unfair competition—and related fields including design, cyberlaw, and antitrust.
Prominent practicing IP lawyers serve as adjunct professors, bringing their specialized expertise to the classroom and providing valuable mentoring and networking opportunities for students. And students can develop important practice skills through externships and/or participation in our unique Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic.
Foundational Intellectual Property Courses
The Intellectual Property curriculum is built upon three core courses: Patent, Copyright, and Trademarks and Unfair Competition. These semester-long classes are taught by full-time Notre Dame faculty members, typically every year, and they provide a comprehensive introduction to the various IP regimes. Students considering a career in IP are strongly encouraged to take all three.
A fourth foundational class, Intellectual Property Survey, is designed for students who are interested in exploring potential interest in IP or those who intend to develop a general commercial practice and desire some exposure to IP issues. The course provides a broad-based introduction to patents, copyright, and trademarks in a single semester. Students who have already taken one of the core IP courses are not eligible to take the Survey course, except in special circumstances by permission of the IP faculty.
Advanced Intellectual Property Courses
The Law School offers a number of advanced courses that build on the knowledge and skills developed in the foundational courses or introduce adjacent areas of technology law. Those courses include:
- Trade Secrets and Unfair Practices (covering primarily trade secret and false advertising)
- Cyber Crime Law
- Design Law
- Entertainment/IP Law
- Information Privacy Law
- Information Technology Law
- Intellectual Property Licensing
- International Intellectual Property
- Licensing Transactions
- Patent Drafting
- Patent Litigation
- PTO Proceedings Post AIA
- Telecommunications Regulation Seminar
- Trademark Prosecution
The Law School also offers a number of courses in related fields that are quite relevant to the practice of IP law, including:
Behavioral Analysis of Law
Bioethics and the Law Seminar
Drug & Medical Device Law
International Art Law Seminar
International Business Transactions
Law & Economics Seminar
Law & The Entrepreneur
The Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic
The Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic operates as a small, boutique law firm focused on assisting clients with transactional IP issues. The purpose of the Clinic is to provide students with valuable experience in applying substantive intellectual property law to real-world problems, and to produce high-caliber work product for Clinic clients. Exemplary matters include preparing patentability and trademark opinions, filing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, drafting license agreements, as well as counseling clients on a range of intellectual property matters.
Second and third year law students work directly with clients under the close supervision of the Clinic Director, Jodi Clifford, a patent attorney who has substantial private practice experience. The Clinic includes a classroom component focused on substantive intellectual property law and core practice skills, including patent and trademark search techniques and analysis, legal opinion writing, client communication and interviewing. Clinic students take primary responsibility for the cases and clients to which they are assigned.
Students are required to apply for participation in the Clinic and are selected by the Director for admission on a semester-by-semester basis.
For more information about this Program of Study in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, please contact Professor Mark P. McKenna.